Premier cancels Japan meeting

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Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao will not hold a one-on-one meeting intended to mend ties at an Asian summit after Chinese anger flared over a dispute in the East China Sea.

China lambasted Japan yesterday for raising the issue of disputed islands and a Japanese cabinet secretary later said Beijing had stopped a meeting between the premiers at the last minute, though its pursuit of strategic and beneficial ties was unchanged.

"I cannot say there won't be any impact [on relations]," said Tetsuro Fukuyama, the Japanese deputy chief cabinet secretary. "But what is essential is a calm response."

Ties between China and Japan deteriorated last month with the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain by the Japanese coastguard after their boats collided near the disputed isles.